How Converse Stays Committed to Creativity

The 115-year-old brand revealed its inaugural Emerging Creatives report at Brandweek

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Creatives need support from brands and agencies, and Converse is aiming to do just that.

Converse CMO Sejal Shah Miller unveiled the brand’s first Emerging Creatives report at Brandweek on Tuesday. The extensive report explored the perspectives of 550 creatives from around the world in an effort to support emerging members of the community.

“Converse is a 115-year-old brand with a pretty long legacy,” Shah Miller told Adweek’s managing editor of marketing and agencies Jameson Fleming, who moderated the fireside chat in Miami. “Creatives have organically adopted our brand. They all saw something in the brand that they could use to express their own identity.”

In addition to the new report, the brand also actively works with its Converse All-Stars group, made up of 1500 creatives across 60 cities around the world.

“It’s not just Converse’s responsibility—as a marketing industry, we all have an obligation to ensure that we are really committed to the potential for future talent,” said Shah Miller. “Saying you’re a brand that’s a leader in the space is one thing, but we’re committed to creativity.”

The report found that 69% of creatives feel they lack the resources to be a creative full-time, whether for financial or physical reasons, though 87% remain optimistic that their industry has a bright future.

“We provide [creatives] mentorship and access,” said Shah Miller, pointing to the brand’s partnerships with stars like Tyler the Creator and John Boyega, and Converse’s design apprenticeship program, made up of 300 creatives of color.

The research found that emerging creatives value brand partnerships, with 95% saying they would be open to collaborating with brands that align with their values, and 83% evaluating whether the brand offers creative freedom.

The impact of AI

Nearly two-thirds of creatives said that artificial intelligence will have the greatest impact of on their creative work over the next five years, with 45% agreeing that AI will make their work easier to complete.

“We’re obviously curious about that space, and like all marketers, optimistic,” said Shah Miller. “We’re exploring the space, we’re not going to do anything that’s not aligned with our brand values … we’re curious, exploring, but don’t have answers yet.”

Globally, creatives in Western Europe and New York were more concerned about the impact of AI (80% and 73%), compared to those in Shanghai and Seoul (34%).

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